An “innovative” texting service has launched for kids in Southwark and Lambeth, which lets them talk to school nurses for advice on bullying and sexual health.
ChatHealth was launched by the School Nursing Team at Evelina London, which allows children aged eleven-nineteen to confidentially and securely ask for help using a dedicated phone number.
Under the scheme, each school has been allocated a visiting nurse who will manage ChatHealth across Lambeth and Southwark. These nurses sit within the wider school nursing teams and are based in local community health centres to answer pupils’ messages.
Janet Powell, director of nursing at Evelina London, said: “ChatHealth is an inclusive and innovative way to reach out to our patients.
“By tailoring our health services to make use of technology that the smartphone generation is familiar with, we hope to engage young people who may otherwise be difficult to reach.
“We want to encourage young people in Southwark and Lambeth to discuss their health issues, and receive the support and advice that is available to them.”
The service is available Monday to Friday 9am – 4.30pm and texts will be responded to within one working day.
The hospital says that Chathealth was trialled in Leicestershire, but Evelina has become the first London hospital to roll out the scheme to its local area.
Visit www.evelinalondon.nhs.uk and search “chathealth” for more information.